Fort Lauderdale voters approve new police headquarters and improved parks as bonds pass

Fort Lauderdale parks in every neighborhood will be spruced up, and a modern, high-tech new police headquarters will replace the tired 1950s station, after Fort Lauderdale voters Tuesday overwhelmingly agreed to raise property taxes to pay for two bonds.

Voters in Fort Lauderdale also agreed to overhaul the city elections system, moving the contests from spring to a November general election cycle starting in 2020, to save money and to benefit from higher voter turnout. Charter changes that passed Tuesday also did away with the city’s primary — the only city primary in Broward — and extended City Commission terms from three years to four starting with the 2021 elected officials.

All the measures passed by strong margins. About 64 percent of voters supported the $100 million police bond issue, about 60 percent supported the $200 million parks bond, according to unofficial results Tuesday night.

Turnout was less than 10 percent. About 11,000 voters in Fort Lauderdale participated. That’s out of about 121,000 active voters, according to Broward supervisor of elections data from March 1.